Chorley estate name leading to lost delivery drivers, as a further 120 homes are approved

Detailed plans for a new housing development in Chorley have been approved – amid concern that its proposed name will cause confusion.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 6:23 pm
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 6:24 pm

Permission has been granted for up to 122 properties to be built off Euxton Lane on part of the site known as Strawberry Fields – a 25-acre plot which will also include industrial units, a care home and nursery.

But the Strawberry Fields moniker is now being used to refer to three different developments on the land – the council-backed digital office park which opened last year, a completed small residential development and the larger new housing estate that has now been given the green light.

Alan Shepherd, speaking on behalf of existing residents, told Chorley Council’s planning committee that the situation had already resulted in lost drivers and misdirected deliveries.

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Work on the Strawberry Fields development off Euxton Lane last summer (image: Google)

“While it’s not a consideration for the committee, residents would like to understand the exact name of the new estate and ensure it’s substantially different to ‘Strawberry Fields’.

“We’ve had articulated vehicles that have damaged our properties and we’ve [experienced] confused deliveries,” said Mr. Shepherd, producing a large television bracket mistakenly dropped off at his home when it should have been destined for the digital hub.

Committee member Christopher France said that he understood the residents’ frustration.

“We seem to have a very conscientious applicant in this case…and the best thing we can do is ask them to hear these comments,” Cllr France said.

The meeting also heard a call from existing residents for the committee to defer its decision until they had been assured of “additional screening” to protect their part of the development from traffic noise.

But planning services manager Adele Hayes said that the applicant, the Trafford Housing Trust (THT), had submitted a “comprehensive landscaping scheme”.

“It will probably take time to mature and grow, but we are satisfied [with] the details,” she said.

Outline permission had previously been granted for the development, with committee members now considering design and layout details.

They also approved a change to the make-up of the affordable housing element of the scheme, which accounts for 30 percent of the overall estate. Within that category, 70 percent of those properties had been promised for ‘social rent’, but that has now been switched for the higher ‘affordable rent’, at up to 80 percent of market rates.

The development was not deemed suitable for social rented properties because it is “separated from local amenities such as shops”. THT – a social housing provider that is developing Strawberry Fields via its commercial arm – said that the change could also enable it offer more affordable properties by securing funding from the government agency Homes England.

THU representative Ben Townsend added: “We hope to develop this site as a truly sustainable community with a mix of housing types and tenures to meet the needs of local people on a range of incomes.

“We are known for the quality of housing we deliver – and any profits generated by our activity are reinvested in the social objectives of the trust, including providing affordable housing and tackling poverty.”